The Daily Kos Post Of The Day: White Guilt & Barack

Over at the Daily Kos, diarist Shef makes the case for white guilt, mixes it in with a hefty dose of anti-Americanism, and perhaps most ironically, uses it to try to make a case for Obama while denying that he’s doing so,

Tracy Jordan, a character on 30 Rock, played by Tracy Morgan, convinces Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) that he can’t read in order to get time off from the show. Tina Fey’s character, outraged, says (and I’m paraphrasing) White Guilt should be used for good, like over-tipping or voting for Barack Obama. Fey makes this point, of course, in jest, but it highlights a certain kind of attack that’s been made on Senator Obama, his candidacy, and his supporters.

This charge is that he plays on white people’s guilt, and his supporters support him because they are feel guilty, not because he deserves to be president. This scurrilous reasoning reared its ugly head in the abominable comments of Geraldine Ferraro, and one’s head would have to be in the sand not to see it elsewhere; it’s an undercurrent to the attacks on any number of policies designed to benefit minorities.

…Back to Barack. I am proud that Democrats today have two potential nominees (one very potential nominee… whatever). One is a woman. One is black. This, in and of itself is inspiring beyond words.

….Guilt is the natural–and correct–emotion to feel when as a white person–hell as an American–one is confronted by America’s original sin. For I, and all my white brethren, are the recipients, the beneficiaries of hegemonic system. My privilege–America’s privilege–has been paid for through the blood and oppression of other peoples. This doesn’t mean I ought to go flogging myself all the time (shame). It does mean that I ought to be aware and work to change the system as it is now. It means I ought to try to solve the problems that still haunt those on whose backs this country was made great.

When I call myself an American, I don’t get to cherry-pick which parts of America’s identity I bring along. For slavery is as much a part of America as The Emancipation Proclamation. Japanese Internment as much as the Bill of Rights. Guantanamo Bay as much as The Berlin Airlifts. So, by calling myself American, I give myself to a country that both enables some of the best opportunities for social change and justice in the world and requires deep guilt.

…So, I’ll take pride in my White Guilt, and keep both eyes open. I’ll take pride in my guilt and help my party and my liberal brethren fight for a better America. I’ll let someone else be America’s apologist.

Vote for Barack because you’re white and feel guilty, but pretend that’s not what you’re doing! The Japanese internment balances out the Bill of Rights! Apparently, only white people in the country today benefit from our “hegemonic system.” America has gotten where it is because of the “blood and oppression of other peoples.” White Americans should feel guilty for…what, things that have nothing to do with them? Standing up for America is “being an apologist.”

After reading this, I can’t say that I feel any “white guilt,” but lots of contempt and a small measure of pity? Yes, I’m there.

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